Texas Standard reached out to Baylor University for comment in regard to allegations that it failed to adequately support student victims of sexual assault.
Here’s the full statement we received from Assistant Vice President for Media Communications Lori Fogelman:
The topic of interpersonal violence on college campuses is of great concern nationally and to us at Baylor. Acts of sexual violence contradict every value Baylor University upholds as a caring Christian community. That’s why we are committed to maintaining the highest degree of campus safety for all students, staff and faculty. With the support of President Ken Starr, the Board of Regents and senior leadership, our Title IX coordinator, Patty Crawford, leads Baylor University’s ongoing efforts and firm commitment to ensuring the safety and wellbeing of all our students.
Baylor has assembled an outstanding team of Title IX professionals to support Patty, and we have made tremendous strides in training and fostering increased reporting, including using dedicated and trained Title IX investigators and external adjudicators from the legal community, reinforcing interim measures as Title IX investigations proceed, and training faculty and staff in their Title IX responsibilities. We have also provided prevention and education training, including bystander intervention, to students and implemented a successful public awareness campaign, “It’s On Us.”
In time, the independent review launched in fall 2015 and being conducted by the nationally recognized firm Pepper Hamilton will allow us to learn how we can further enhance our efforts. Recently, Baylor’s response to victims of sexual violence was featured in a segment of Outside the Lines, which airs on ESPN. We are grateful for Patty’s willingness to speak at length and on camera with Outside the Lines about her leadership in the Title IX area and the related efforts of the University for the purposes of their story.
Responding quickly, compassionately and appropriately to allegations of interpersonal violence according to the evolving mandates of Title IX, Clery and the Violence Against Women Act is a priority for all universities. Our Title IX Office is committed to responding actively to students or third-party reporters. We actively encourage students to use all available resources, recognizing that we are only able to respond to reports that are brought to our attention through a report to the Title IX Office. A victim who reports sexual violence, but does not wish to pursue disciplinary action, can still receive help and information to inform decision-making. The Title IX Office is committed to balancing a victim’s request to remain anonymous with the University’s commitment to provide a safe and non-discriminatory environment to other members of its campus community.
Above all, because we are most concerned about the safety of our students and our campus, we are doing all that we can to ensure that we have in place quality processes reflecting best practices nationally so that we might respond effectively and with sensitivity to those impacted by the terrible tragedy of interpersonal violence. We encourage any member of the community with concerns related to interpersonal violence to step forward and share their experiences with our Title IX Office.